Article

How personalisation is transforming the way companies are building relationships

Published October 26, 2020
Last updated May 4, 2021

Guest blog from Guillaume Moubeche, CEO, lemlist

No suit or dress feels like the one that’s made to your measurements. The same principle applies to the world of sales. Receiving offers that are personalized for you, your needs, and what you’re trying to accomplish as a client makes a huge difference.

Personalisation as a concept has now been around for a while. From the luxury industries to automotive many industries have drawn to personalisation as a means of better fulfilling client’s expectations while improving their margins with such services. It was common for privileged customers to receive highly personalised gifts with their name or initials embroidered on it. This feeling of uniqueness took the customer experience to a whole new level forcing all industries to adapt quickly. Indeed, Following on this new trend we quickly saw sports brands giving access to the same level of personalization to their online customers like Nike with their NikeID products. With more and more customer data accessible online and with the rise of AI, standards are changing and people are expecting a more tailored approach from brands and companies they are connecting with. However, it’s important to distinguish what personalisation really is and what it is not.

«With more and more customer data accessible online and with the rise of AI, standards are changing and people are expecting a more tailored approach from brands and companies they are connecting with.»

Take the way we reach out to customers and prospects as an example. There are a lot of instances in the inbox where we see our first name and company name, but the rest of the email feels like a standard sales pitch. This leaves pretty much the same aftertaste as a broad compliment that can be given to anyone. We don’t feel the love. Personalisation is not personalisation if the same message can be delivered to anybody else.

Of course, in an ideal world, we would have enough time to write unique emails for every single prospect. In reality, we don’t because we need to operate at scale. But this doesn’t mean we can’t make the best out of two worlds and have our emails stand out still.

Personalised cold email templates will not only help you stand out in any inbox, but will also pave the way to building long-term relationships with your prospects. After analyzing over 50 million emails at lemlist, we started noticing quite interesting patterns. Using videos and dynamic landing pages in your campaigns, for example, leads to a 2x increase of reply rates on average and can boost your click rate by 10 times.

«Personalization without relevance doesn’t work»
John Barrows, Sales Trainer

When you think about it, any part of a cold email can be personalized. It’s up to you, your research and how well you understand your ideal customer. Take intro lines as an example. This is where you can leverage dynamic text tags to create custom intro lines for people. In other words, the same way you would have a column with first names in your CSV file, you’d add one more labeled “intro lines”. Your objective is to make sure every cold email starts in a unique way, relevant to one prospect only. For instance, a prospect might have given an interview on a podcast. You could listen to it and genuinely compliment the person by referring to the statements that you find most striking. Another prospect might be following the same sales expert as you. All these cases represent great opportunities to build a connection based on the common interest between the two of you. The essence is that “personalization without relevance doesn’t work” as sales trainer John Barrows has characterised it recently when I was interviewing him.

At lemlist we see the same tendencies in sales. It’s no longer about sending a few emails or messages on LinkedIn. Your interaction rather needs to have multiple touchpoints across different channels. But above everything, it must have a strong narrative and should be focused on building a relationship with your prospects first.

Imagine a scenario where you first connect with someone on LinkedIn, exchange a comment or two, then communicate via direct messaging all the way down to a business-related email exchange and a meeting. “WhatsApp and text messaging apps tend to work really well when you’re following up” recommends Aaron Ross, the sales consultant and author of "Predictable Revenue”. Doing it this way allows it to be far more human, more natural, and increases the chances of developing a long-lasting relationship with clients.

You want to establish a rapport first, understand better the needs of your prospect, and tailor your offer to create a genuine win-win situation.

Now imagine you can create a sales cadence and have all your messages across multiple channels automatically personalised for every prospect. You keep all the steps synced, thus freeing more time for the most important things you have to focus on. Well, that future is closer than you think. Cold emails, and sales in general, are more than ever all about building relationships, personalized approaches, and tailor-made deals nowadays. It’s what makes you different in prospect’s eyes and why they are willing to listen to you in the first place.

While AI is still in its infancy, personalisation is here to stay. In the end, each interaction brands have with their customers or prospects are what makes or breaks relationships. Personalisation will be key to bring their brand personality to life, build long lasting relationships, and become indispensable for making customers come back!